A cross-cultural comparison of political attack ads in Brazil and the United States.

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A cross-cultural comparison of political attack ads in Brazil and the United States.

A Brief History of Political Advertising in Brazil

During Getulio Vargas administration, in the 1940s, Brazil saw the dawn of political marketing. His title "father of the poor" seemed to be more in the minds of the masses than their own lives. Much of his popularity came from a radio broadcast he hosted, where he addressed to "the common people". However, It was in 1960 with Janio Quadros, that Brazilians started to witness the rise of the "marketer", a character that would become one of the most controversial in the country's political scene. In a master's stroke, the Quadros' campaign adopted a broom as it main symbol. The broom, which appeared in pin, buttons, posters, among other advertising paraphernalia, represented "the candidate's promise to clean the government and the country from corruption" (Neves, 2002). The broom jingle became a popular hit and Janio's campaign is still recognized as one of the most successful marketing cases in the history of political advertising in Brazil.

Varre, varre, varre, varre, varre,varre vassourinhaVarre, varre a bandalheiraQue o povo esta cansadoDe sofrer desta maneiraJanio Quadro e a esperanca dessepovo abandonadoSweep, sweep, sweep, sweep, sweepSweep, little broomSweep, sweep the rogueryBecause the people is tiredOf suffering like thisJanio Quadros i the hope of thisabandoned people.

The generals also often recurred to marketing in order to legitimize their administration. Among the successful slogans were nationalistic appeals such as the late 60s "Brazil, love or leave it" and the 70s "There is no holding back this country" (Ninguem segura este pais) created during a phase of fast economic growth.

After electing Janio Quadros for president in 1960, Brazilians had to wait another 40 years to choose another president. From 1984 to 1985, the country...